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From: Andrey Semashev (andrey.semashev_at_[hidden])
Date: 2024-02-15 14:00:53

On 2/15/24 07:33, René Ferdinand Rivera Morell wrote:
> Warning, I could be wrong in anything below as I have faulty memory. :-)
> On Wed, Feb 14, 2024 at 7:14 PM Andrey Semashev via Boost
> <boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>> On 2/15/24 01:46, René Ferdinand Rivera Morell wrote:
>>> On Wed, Feb 14, 2024 at 3:27 PM Andrey Semashev via Boost
>>> <boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>>>> I fully agree that the community should decide what will be on the
>>>> website, content-wise. But given that the website is an important
>>>> element of the Boost project infrastructure, I would expect Boost
>>>> Foundation to own and manage it. This will affect what is written in the
>>>> legal documents such as Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
>>> Can you be specific as to your meaning of "own" and "manage" in that?
>>> What specifically is owned? What specifically is managed? Is it
>>> intellectual ownership? Is it physical ownership?
>>> Items that could possibly be owned:
>>> * The source code for the web site.
>>> * The content for the web site.
>>> * The user contributed content on the web site.
>>> * The machines running the web site.
>>> etc
>>> Items that could possibly be managed:
>>> * The repository for the source code.
>>> * The database for the content.
>>> * The machines, and controlling accounts, for everything.
>>> etc
>> By owning I mean that Boost Foundation should have all rights over the
>> website implementation.
> "All rights" has a specific legal meaning. And applying it would rob
> the developers of the product of their rights. Assuming they want to,
> for example, keep the copyright on the source code.

I'm not talking about copyright notices in the source code, attribution
or authorship. In some jurisdictions, authorship is not even transferable.

I'm talking about all the rights to use, modify, distribute, publish,
<insert those legal terms here> the website. I'm not sure what is the
correct term to name those rights collectively, is it property rights?

> A few things to
> upfront about..
> * The Boost Foundation has historically owned almost nothing.
> * When it was the Boost Steering Committee it owned nothing at all.
> * Traditionally the Foundation subsidises and facilitates the work and
> resources of others.
> * Specifically the Foundation does not own the Boost Libraries or the
> current website implementation.
> * I, personally, own much of the current website implementation as I
> initially wrote it. Although it evolved into shared ownership thanks
> to contributions from others, like the incredible work of Daniel
> James. All made possible by the use of BSL and individual donations of
> server resources.

Ok, but BSL allows Boost Foundation "to use, reproduce, display,
distribute, execute, and transmit" the current website, "and to prepare
derivative works" of it, free of charge and transitively. Is the new
website also licensed under BSL? If not, what is the license?

I'm asking because the only document of this kind I've found on the
website is the Terms of Use, which is very different from BSL.

>> This includes the rights to run, modify and
>> distribute the code and media content (text, styling, images, video,
>> audio, etc.) that constitutes the website implementation. This includes
>> full access to GitHub repositories and other online services that are
>> used to develop, build and deploy these materials.
> Do you mean that the authors of the new website implementation need to
> grant someone(s) sufficient rights? If so, then what we are talking
> about is choosing an appropriate license and distribution mechanism.
> If you are instead talking about transfering the copyright to the
> Boost Foundation, then I would strongly oppose it.

I think I've answered this above.

>> Boost Foundation must
>> have full access to the machines and online accounts that are used for
>> running the website, and preferably own them.
> It is my understanding that it would be impossible for the Foundation
> to own the various Azure VMs and caching proxies involved in running
> the new website. Unless the Foundation is willing to employ a full
> DevOps team with enough funding to procure hardware and bandwidth
> indefinitely (think $1M/year range).

If the website is running on a cloud VM, the Foundation should be the
one who rents that VM from the cloud provider. If the website runs on
private physical hardware then that hardware should be owned by the
Foundation. I don't think the latter scenario is impossible, as this is
how it is currently.

>> For user-generated content, such as forum and blog posts, videos,
>> comments, issues on the trackers, discussions, etc., as well as personal
>> information provided through account registration, that content belongs
>> to its authors, but Boost Foundation may reserve some rights, such as to
>> be able to moderate and publish it. But, of course, we first have to
>> decide what kind of content that will be and how we want to use it. Then
>> there is the part where a lawyer would help to compose the legal
>> agreement between Boost Foundation and users.
> There's a common licensing arrangement for that. So, yes. But there
> are variations that would need to get decided on. Like if it would be
> needed to allow for full removal, on request, by the user to comply
> with particular jurisdictions.

I think it goes without saying that users should be allowed to delete
their content. Including their personal information.

>> By managing I mean managing all the above assets and content. For
>> example, Boost Foundation should be able to expand or reduce the amount
>> of resources used for running the website (e.g. to accommodate for the
>> changing load). Boost Foundation should be able to
>> perform backups of the website, including user-generated content.
> This is more commonly handled by designating someone (usually one or
> more individuals or organizations) to deal with all such details.
>> Boost Foundation should be able to moderate
>> user-generated content and update the website content, e.g. on Boost
>> releases or new library additions.
> Traditionally that has never been done by the Foundation. And would be
> a significant change of the duties and rights of the Foundation.
> Currently, and previously, those duties fall on designated
> individuals.

Regarding "designated individuals", that's what I was saying by "trusted
volunteers" below.

Regarding whether that would be a significant change, yes and no. We do
have a mailing list moderator (Marshall Clow, if I'm not mistaken), for
example, even if this role requires little or no intervention. But my
understanding is that the new website will offer new ways of
communication and posting user-generated content. It follows that there
should be someone who will moderate that new content.

> Those individuals were picked nominally by consensus of
> the community.

I don't think we ever elected a mailing list moderator, or who runs the
website, or who owns boostorg on GitHub, or manages the git
superproject. Even if we did, there must be someone who will grant the
elected person with the necessary permissions and resources to fulfill
his new role. I believe, that "someone" is the Foundation, or rather,
its members.

>> This doesn't necessarily mean that Boost Foundation members will be
>> doing all of this by themselves. Some things can be automated, other
>> things can be done by trusted volunteers from the community or hired
>> staff, if needed. I believe this is pretty much how it happens today.
> No, yes, but mostly no. The Foundation has close to zero involvement
> in the "development, publication, and management of the Boost C++
> Libraries product".
>> But the important part is that the full control over the website should
>> be in the Boost Foundation hands, not someone else's.
> I agree that control of the web site should not be bound to any one
> organization. And hence I agree that the Boost Foundation should not
> own the web site.

I can agree to this, if Boost Foundation has an open enough license for
the website implementation, such as BSL, and the website runs on VMs
and/or hardware that is rented/owned by Boost Foundation.

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